Thursday, August 20, 2009


The second season of "Jockeys" on the Animal Planet network will debut on Friday night. The featured riders this season include Garrett Gomez, Corey Nakatani, Mike Smith, and Joe Talamo among others. The second season's shows have been expanded to one hour and will deal mainly with the run-up to The Kentucky Derby. The majority of the first season dealt with the action heading up to the 2008 Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita.

I always take the words of my former colleague, Martha Claussen, to heart when I think about jockeys. She always claimed that jockeys were the most underrated athletes in all of sports. She certainly makes a good point. After all, it takes tremendous strength and skill to for a 100-pound human being to maintain control of a 1200-pound animal in any circumstance, much less travelling at around 40 miles per hour.

The plan to profile jockeys leading up to this year's Kentucky Derby is especially prescient. After all, does anybody think that Mine That Bird wins the Derby without that stunning rail ride by Calvin Borel? Mike Smith has done an excellent job filling Borel's shoes in two of the three races he has had since the Derby, but Borel was the star of the first Saturday in May.

"Jockeys" premieres at 10pm Eastern and Pacific Time on Friday.

Tune in tomorrow for a look at the Grade 1 Alabama this weekend at Saratoga. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!

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